Just as exercise can improve your gut health http://bit.ly/1C9otsf it can also help keep your back in shape.
Back pain is a major health issue costing the country and the health service billions of pounds every year. According to BackCare – the charity for healthier backs and organisers of Backcare Awareness Week – sickness absence currently costs the UK economy £15bn. Musculoskeletal disorders are one of the leading causes of sickness absence affecting more than 80% of the population.
Backcare Awareness Week 2015 – is aiming to raise awareness of the problems back pain can cause, as well as highlighting how to prevent and treat it.
BackCare’s top tips to reduce back pain include:
* Exercise your back regularly – walking, swimming (especially back stroke) and using exercise bikes are all excellent to strengthen your back muscles but anything that you enjoy and helps you keep active will be beneficial.
* Keep active and moving even when you have pain. Gentle walking and stretching will prevent stiffness. Also try to avoid long periods of bed rest as this is counterproductive.
* Always lift and carry objects close to your body, bend your knees and your hips not your back and never twist and bend at the same time.
* Try to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle as this will help prevent back pain. Quit smoking as it increases your chances of developing back pain.
* Use painkillers when pain occurs to allow you to carry on being active. If pain is persistent see your GP as they may be able to prescribe stronger painkillers or investigate further.
* Try to carry loads in a rucksack and avoid carrying single sling bags.
* Always try to maintain good posture. Avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over your desk and walking around with your shoulders hunched up.
For further information on Backcare Awareness Week see: http://bit.ly/1vxuJCJ
Information sheets on exercise and posture can be found here: http://bit.ly/1jMldM6
NHS Choices also provide information and exercises here: http://bit.ly/1d9pGFj
Note: If you haven’t exercised for some time you may want to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.